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New reports on immigration detention of children, right to family reunification of refugees in Europe

Date of Publication: 
26 June 2017
Summary: 

Report from European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

New reports on immigration detention of children, right to family reunification of refugees in Europe

26 June 2017
EIN

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) last week released a comprehensive new report on the immigration detention of children.

You can download the 112-page report here.

The report presents the European and international legal framework on immigration detention of children, and gives an overview of such detention in the EU, highlighting practices of unlawful and arbitrary detention.

The report also presents opinions and examples of good practices to assist those involved in the implementation of asylum and immigration policies, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that immigration detention of children ends completely or is truly only applied in exceptional circumstances.

FRA says that detaining children for migration management or asylum reasons – with or without family members – is difficult to justify, practically very challenging to implement in line with fundamental rights and clearly not in the child's best interests.

Also new last week was a 58-page issue paper on the right to family reunification of refugees in Europe by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, which you can read here.

The report aims at helping Council of Europe member states adopt a more humane and human rights oriented policy on family reunification for refugees and beneficiaries of international protection.

Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said upon release of the paper: "The right to family reunification is a fundamental part of the right to family life, which is protected by international human rights law. This right is particularly important for refugees in Europe. Because of the dangers they face at home, their only option to enjoy their right to family life is to bring their families to Europe. Regrettably, many European countries are limiting refugees' access to this right through restrictive measures which are unjust, unlawful and cause immense hardship for refugees and their families. This has to change."

Chapter 3 of the issue paper contains an overview of the major case law of the European Court of Human Rights on family reunification.